Who isn’t looking forward to their next vacation? There’s no need to clock into work or set an alarm in the morning, and you’ll have the opportunity to see new places and enjoy your favorite activities. Unfortunately, take a holiday isn’t as easy as packing a bag and setting sail.
Your to-do list is probably filled with packing and traveling plans to double check. In addition to these items, you should also make a checklist of things to do at home before you leave. This way you can fully enjoy your vacation without worrying about loose ends at home.
Of course, the hardest part about making a checklist is knowing where to start. To get you started, here are a few items we recommend highlighting:
1. Ask someone to check in regularly
There are a few daily or weekly checklist items that homeowners like to take care of. When you are on vacation, you lose the ability to follow your usual routine. If you hire someone to take care of you, your house will stay in order and you can enjoy your holiday with peace of mind.
You can ask someone to check in on your home regularly for a variety of reasons. Maybe you have pets that need to be fed or plants that need regular watering. Maybe you need someone to check the mail daily so your mailbox doesn’t burst – or better yet, keep your mail at the post office. For particularly long travel plans, you may even need to hire a local teen to mow your lawn or tend your yard.
While friends and family will likely volunteer to do this for you, you should compensate them for their efforts upon your return. Treat them to dinner or bring them some souvenirs to thank them for taking care of your home when you couldn’t. They certainly deserved it.
2. Take a look at the structure of your house
The last thing you want on your vacation is for your house to fall apart completely. It’s one thing to go away for the weekend, but several variables come into play when you take a longer vacation.
Make a checklist of everything you need to check before you travel. Make sure there are no leaky taps, corroded windows or weak roof tiles. These may seem like trivial issues now, but if they decide to break while you’re gone, they can do a lot more damage.
This is also a good time to check what security measures you have in place. Make sure all your locks are functional on both your doors and windows. If you have an alarm system or security camera set up, give it a try to make sure everything is working properly.
3. Leave a list of emergency contacts
Suppose you encounter your worst case scenario. A pipe bursts and your basement floods as you cross the country sipping mimosas on the beach. Even if it were feasible, you can’t just drop everything and rush home to fix it. You must leave an emergency contact who can handle things until you can return.
Your emergency contact may be the same person you have hired to monitor your home while you are away. They already have a key to your home or the code to enter the garage. They can limit damage and talk to the right people to work things out until you’re back behind the wheel.
Another thing you can do is make a list of all your emergency contacts to stick on the fridge or other prominent place. This way, anyone trying to cover an emergency for you will know which family member or service provider you would contact if you were there instead.
4. Unplug your devices
It’s safe to say that most, if not all, of your home appliances won’t be in use while you’re traveling. Before you leave, unplug as many of these devices as possible. There are two main reasons why you would want to do this, which we’ll outline below.
First, it’s a lot safer to let go of your devices. Although unlikely, it eliminates the risk of shorting wires and possible fire. You can even detect faulty wiring when you unplug devices you don’t normally inspect.
The other reason this is worth it is because it will save you money. Your electricity bill won’t be put on hold just because you’re gone. Unplugged appliances such as microwave ovens and washing machines will not drain unnecessary energy that you have to pay for.
Certain appliances need to stay plugged in, such as your refrigerator. While you’re thinking about it, try throwing out any food items that might spoil while you’re gone. After a nice holiday at home, you don’t enjoy the nasty surprise of spoiled milk.
5. Make prepayments
Speaking of that electric bill, the due date for your next payment could come along while you’re away from home. This is definitely something you don’t want to worry about when you should be relaxing. A single prepayment can solve that problem right away.
Look into making prepayments for future bills you have, if your finances allow. Better yet, you can set up automatic payments for all your recurring bills, rent, or mortgage. Instead of sending a check, the required amount will be debited from your account on the same day each month.
If you prefer to pay your bills in person, talk to your provider about the possibility of suspending your payments early. If that doesn’t work, ask someone from your trusted circle to do the transaction for you. Then you can get right back in the mood when you come back.
6. Do some tidying up
What could be worse than coming home from a wonderful vacation and re-entering reality? Comes in a messy house that needs to be cleaned up. Do the future a favor and clean up before you leave. You’ll be glad you did when you come back home and need a day to readjust to everyday life.
A thorough cleaning is not necessary here. Try to disable most of the basics. Have your laundry folded, put away and run your dishwasher one last time. Coming home to a full laundry basket and sink is not the ideal way to be welcomed home.
Another last-minute cleanup that you can do is to take out all the trash, let the kids put their toys away, and make the beds with clean sheets the morning you leave. Each item you complete is one less thing to do when you get back home and exhausted from traveling.
This checklist will make your vacation preparation a little longer. However, the peace of mind that comes from knowing your home is in good hands is always worth it. Take a moment to write down a checklist of things you want to complete before your next vacation and get to work on it. You will be amazed at the difference it makes to your vacation experience.
Featured Image Credits: Photo by Te lensFix; Pexels; Thank you!